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Apology to Ralph Gilles

Discussion in 'General Viper Discussion' started by Viper X, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Viper X

    Viper X VCA Member - South VCA Member

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    02) VCA Logo.jpg


    [FONT=&amp]September 18, 2013[/FONT]


    [FONT=&amp]Dear Members and Enthusiasts. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&amp]Over the past few weeks, the VCA has gone through some turmoil. As you can see, your Board has now agreed to significantly overhaul the VCA Bylaws in order to move the club forward. We would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to Ralph Gilles. We greatly respect Ralph and what he has done for Chrysler; SRT; the VCA; and our wonderful Viper. He is the rare automotive executive designer and brand CEO, who talks the talk and walks the walk, who frequently makes himself available at VCA local and national events. He is truly a wonderful friend of the Viper Nation.[/FONT]


    Best regards,



    Viper Club of America Board of Directors

    Dan Everts
    Fredi Spaltenstein
    John Canal
    Greg Crouse
    Ron Kooser
    John Mavridis
    Cathy Smiley
     
  2. SingleMalt

    SingleMalt Enthusiast

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    Why now Dan?
     
  3. balance

    balance Viper Owner

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    Apologize for what?? Can the above seven BOD members acknowledge what they are apologizing for? What actions have been taken to significantly overhaul the VCA Bylaws?

    RS
     
  4. Carslo

    Carslo Guest

    I tried to reply, but my account I've used for three years, paid for a Venom membership as of last year, and posted countless tech replies under, has been placed in moderation for disagreeing with the same board which is now apologizing to Ralph.

    Perhaps you should also apologize to your membership, both past and present, by stopping the Nazi-esque silencing of dissent.

    Many other members have been banned or moderated since Lee resigned. So much for open communication.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. ViperSmith

    ViperSmith Enthusiast

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    Sorry for... What exactly?

    Trying to get Ralph Fired, via the BOD of the VCA?

    "Anonymous" letters to Sergio accusing Ralph of taking bribes from the ("supposedly") from the BOD?

    The multipage letter to Sergio accusing Ralph of improprieties?

    Which slap in the face to Ralph are they apologizing for, exactly? Why did it take months later to apologize, exactly?
     
  6. Viper X

    Viper X VCA Member - South VCA Member

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    All,

    The new board of directors has been "in office" now for 5 working days.

    Some of the stuff that has happened in the past surprised us to. Some a bunch.

    Keep an eye on what we do and don't associate us with past issues please.

    We are focused on the membership, all of us.

    FYI, I personally plan to hold this position for a short time (there's an opening for some) [​IMG] make some serious changes to the Bylaws and other things as far too much power is held by the President and the BOD IMHO, hold a special election by which all members can vote for all officers, with new officers taking over in January of 2014.

    351 Carlo,

    Send me a pm of the post that got you "moderated". I don't read all of this stuff, I'm not an internet guy, but if you didn't break the rules, which are posted on this website, I'll sort it out for you. If you did, then you may have deserved it. I have removed moderation for a few guys in the last couple of days and asked the moderators to be more reasonable and communicative. I'm sure you won't hesitate to tell me how they are doing.

    Lately, we've had a few folks that are trying to recruit VCA members to join a competing car club. This is hardly "dissent" or "open debate" and won't be allowed and they have been moderated. Not saying you did that as I don't know.

    Dan
     
  7. Carslo

    Carslo Guest

    I'd love to tell you what it was for, but like most, it was done without notification.

    Most likely the same reason Tony, Maurice, Randall, Janni and numerous others were silenced - They represented a group which disagreed with the direction the club was taking.

    Feel free to read about all those who are banned/moderated here:
    http://tinyurl.com/VCAsilencing
     
  8. Nine Ball

    Nine Ball Enthusiast

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    Dan,

    Thanks for taking the time to communicate with the site members. I know most of us would not want to be in your position at the moment. But, it is good to get communication, since we rarely got any before. I have a few comments / suggestions and experience to share with you.

    Just so you know where I'm coming from, I co-founded www.LS1Tech.com, which is still the busiest GM based performance site on the net. Several, several times busier than the VCA forum. I sold the site in 2007 to a large corporation, after owning it for 6 years. We learned a lot during the growth of that site, and how to manage all the personalities under that roof. We had a moderator staff of over 100 members.

    That being said, we always treated our user base as the customer. Moderators that abused their power, made decisions based on ego or agenda, were promptly spoken with. If they continued with that behavior, they were removed from the staff. If moderators were inactive and didn't manage their respective forums, we found replacements more willing to participate.

    We never allowed "Alter Ego" type accounts, such as the current "VCA Forum Staff" that is found on this site. That can be perceived as cowardly, as communications could come from anyone. When you are to warn or reprimand a member (customer), they deserve the right to know who is speaking. We had a few moderators try and create AE accounts to abuse their power, those people were removed. Moderators should be easily accessible and have their username for any communication with members, period. Nobody should have access to more than 1 account on this site.

    In the private Admin/Moderator forum, we had a thread stuck to the top of the forum. The "Banned List". Any moderator who banned or moderated (permanent, or temporary) a user had to put a link to their user account, as well as a reason for doing so. Usually followed by a link to the thread(s) that resulted in the ban. With this Banned List, the other staff and Admins could see who was banned, and raise questions on if the process was followed properly. Sometimes a vote was held to overturn these decisions. Any moderator caught banning people without filling out the list, was removed. I suspect this site doesn't have this sort of arrangement, since you have a lot of evidence of members disappearing without notice. The worse part is that many of these members pay to be here, yet get treated this way.

    This statement "competing car club" doesn't sit well with me. The VCA is a non-profit. "Competing" is a term generally held for companies or individuals that want to excel over others, in terms of performance or financials. How would two non-profit type clubs be viewed as competitors? Is the club about the Viper, or the windfall of cash that comes in from paid membership? If the club had fewer members, it would require less money to operate. Still a non-profit, right? Income, and expenses, should be relative to the size of the club. So please define what is competitive for us. Shouldn't all Viper enthusiast clubs be welcoming of similar clubs? I belong to a couple Corvette and Camaro clubs, and we even meet up with other similar clubs a few times a year and have large gatherings. This is because the clubs are based on the VEHICLE, pure and simple.

    Now, I agree that we can't have people going around badmouthing the VCA and trying to get people to leave, while promoting another group. That is understandable. But, the paragraph I wrote above should have more meaning about how this is handled. If membership was so important, then banning paid members makes absolutely no sense. Do you think they will ever come back? How many others did they influence not to join, due to how their situation was handled?

    Thanks for your time,
    Tony
     
  9. Alabaster Mamba

    Alabaster Mamba Enthusiast

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    Pretty good post Tony. I agree 100% about the competing club part as well. What we need is to try and get this off on the right foot. I hope we aren't seeing the total dissolve and division of the Viper community as we speak. That is what we truly do not need. There are dissenters who want nothing more than the total abolishment of the VCA and there are people who are unhappy with the old VCA and want the new VCA to be user friendly and back to the "good old days". I for one hope we can get to the good old days.
     
  10. FrankBarba

    FrankBarba Viper Owner

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    I really don't care anymore. Doesn't matter what Car Club, either the VCA or VOA.The VCA stole my funds, they used bully tactics to silence me & others when we asked questions.
    When we couldn't ask the BOD questions we turned to our Regional Captains. Never heard anything from them so my questions were
    then forwarded on to my local Captain. I could not get any information out of them because i was told that the Local Captains, Regional Captains
    signed Non Disclosure's about everything. From the BOD the only ones to make a decision & also the BOD that allowed the VCA to Fund VPA.
    Didn't Jimmy Hoffa & the Mob do this kinda of thing with their Member's Dues. You can never go back. If you all want a club it needs to be started with Fresh People,
    Fresh Ideas. I doubt i will ever join a car club again, this car club left left a bad taste.
    Mr. Giles, You owe the Viper Nation Nothing. You are an asset to SRT - Chrysler - Fiat. I know that it is because of you
    the Viper Survived. I know you have the passion for the Viper, but it is ok to let her go. The Viper Nation wants cars that
    SRT can not build due to Federal Regulations. The only way you could build a Viper the way you want is thru a Kit. Let the
    VCA and VOA take care of their own issues.
     
  11. Magnus_

    Magnus_ Viper Owner

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    Now that viper alley has added regional sub forums and I can now post with viper owners in my area without having to pay a fee to a forum is reason enough for me to make the switch.

    I still can't believe how this forum wants people to pay just to be able to talk to other enthusiasts in their area. Really shows how out of touch the forum admin is with the newer, younger generation of viper owners.
     
  12. Doug Supercharged Vipers

    Doug Supercharged Vipers Enthusiast

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    Don't mean to sound disrespectful but If you want your apology to reflect a meaningful element of sincerity, it should be addressed directly to Mr. Ralph Gilles.

    Best regards,
    Doug Levin
     
  13. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    Hi Doug. You are assuming that an apology was not sent through other means of communication. I think the people on the letter are sincere and that they probably have already communicated the apology in more private ways. They are trying their best, under difficult circumstances to fix the problems as soon as they can. Do you still want those wheels? If so, call me.
     
  14. JLorello

    JLorello Viper Owner

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    Bob, aren't you assuming as well?
     
  15. gb66gth

    gb66gth Viper Owner

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    Ralph is awesome, there's no argument there.

    But what about what the memberd of the VCA did for Ralph, Dodge(SRT) and the new Viper?
    Was it not our support for the Viper that bolstered the argument for bringing it back from the abyss?!
     
  16. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    Yes gb66gth. You are right. The members also deserve alot of credit. Particularly those that took the time and incurred the expense to show up at the July 1, 2010 "Finish Line Generation IV" event at the Viper plant in Detroit arranged by the VCA. It was a wonderful show of loyalty and support. I wish we all could muster the same spirit now; repair the VCA, and move forward.
     
  17. IEATVETS

    IEATVETS Enthusiast

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    Well said Tony and I agree with most everything you said but most people have short memories. Does anybody remember what Mr. JonB did and why exactly he was banned? A lot of people have been talking about being bullied by the higher-ups at the VCA but isn't what Jon did bullying as well?
    Don't mistake my words as I truly believe that Jon is an asset to our community but he crossed the line and action needed to be taken. If banning him was what needed to be done then so be it.
     
  18. Next Phase

    Next Phase Viper Owner

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    Too little... too late.
     
  19. Next Phase

    Next Phase Viper Owner

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    I don't see how the club moves forward...

    All of the items that have been asked for by the collective membership, has not been provided. If you want me to recap what those items are... I'll be more than happy to do so.

    Did we ever find out where the raffle was held? Man, I'm tired of asking that question.
     
  20. Tony,

    "This statement "competing car club" doesn't sit well with me. The VCA is a non-profit. "Competing" is a term generally held for companies or individuals that want to excel over others, in terms of performance or financials. How would two non-profit type clubs be viewed as competitors?"

    Semantics. Maybe I could have chosen a better word, but I think you understand my meaning. You did a pretty good job of defining it Tony when you stated the following:

    Now, I agree that we can't have people going around badmouthing the VCA and trying to get people to leave, while promoting another group. That is understandable.

    "Is the club about the Viper, or the windfall of cash that comes in from paid membership?"

    No windfall here. The club spends about what it charges on each member.

    "If membership was so important, then banning paid members makes absolutely no sense."

    Agree. I have not banned anyone nor have any of the BOD members. Not sure if anyone has been "banned". Know that some have been moderated for saying some things that some moderators found in violation of the posting rules. Not sure I agree with some of their decisions. FYI, when the complaints began to come in a few days ago, we addressed it by asking our moderators to mellow out and let reasonable debate take place. Earlier today I asked our site manager to check and remove "moderator" privileges from everyone except our site manager, myself and one other person. During this check, we did find some folks with moderator privileges that should not have had them. As above, they are now gone.

    I spent most of this evening reviewing banned members posts and re-instating some. Some posters were pretty nasty, so they will continue to be moderated. I did not get through the entire list but will keep working on it. I found a large number of those moderated to be non-members. I just began to work as a "moderator" tonight. I have not done this before but learn quickly and am pretty reasonable. I actually enjoy debate as long as we stick to the facts. Look for moderation to get back under control quickly. Lot's on my plate right now. Inherited a pretty messy deal with some upset people. Actually planned to resign along with others but realized that I was pretty much the only one that was willing to stick around and am now trying to work through this.....and as the treasurer, bills would not get paid, the raffle car winner would likely not get his car, at least in a timely manner, etc. I have no desire for this position long term, too much grief. As I have stated in a few other posts, my plan is to make some necessary changes to the Bylaws, set up a vote of the Members, all of them as possible and get new elected officers in place in January 2014, among other things. Do appreciate the civility and tone of your message.

    Dan
     
  21. TrackAire

    TrackAire Viper Owner

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    Next Phase is 100% spot on....unfortunately.

    Bobpantax, the membership has loyalty, but to the Viper, not the VCA. I was at the VOI in Salt Lake City where Ralph showed us the Gen 5 mockup. He specifically asked that we keep it a secret, no photos, no leaks, etc. Hundreds of attendees viewed the future Gen 5 and many of us had a very good and detailed look at the car. Until the car was shown at the NY auto show, I did not see one sketch or drawing in print or on the internet of the car I saw there. (lots of crappy ideas and "renderings" but not one close to the actual model we saw). Viper owners are loyal to those that care about the CAR. The Viper is the glue holding this group together. The membership's loyalty is much more aligned with Ralph and SRT than the VCA.....lets face it, one side cares about the car, the other side cares about membership control. If a group of Corvette owners or Mustang owners were given a peak at a future model and asked to keep it secret, I'd bet a hand drawn sketch would have been on the internet in a couple of hours. The Viper owner really is a special breed and have a much more vested interest in the Viper, its future and the people bringing it to market than a membership paid bureaucracy.

    Think of the VCA as a cheating spouse. Think of getting a divorce from the cheating spouse. You know the pain and heartache that a divorce can cause, many times with lasting effects. The percentage of couples getting back together and lasting after a nasty divorce is tiny.....that is what you are dealing with here. Bob, you sound like the young child of a divorced couple that keeps hoping their parents will get back together and live happily ever after. Time to face reality, mommy and daddy are not getting back together.

    George
     
  22. ACRucrazy

    ACRucrazy Enthusiast

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    Dan, as one of many who were "moderated" for the last 5 days I think I can speak for more than myself. I was put on moderated status with no communication, no warning, no reason given to me. My posts were not reviewed, my emails went unanswered. As a paying member I was furious. I know of several members who are now disputing annual membership dues with their CC company to the VCA because of this.

    I have been replying to posts over the past 5 days, probably 40+ to get some sort of reply, some sort of comment from anyone who was in the power to moderate. Nothing. I received personal emails from members because they were trying to PM me were telling me they couldn't, the messages would not go through.

    Tonight while replying I was shocked that my posts showed up. I got so used to seeing the "moderated" message pop up I wasn't expecting anything else. Whoever went on a "moderation" spree without cause or proper notification to the members should be moderated themselves IMO.

    And I understand how much work it is to be a moderator, as I am one on another forum. I can relate to what you are dealing with.

    Tony's reply hit the nail on the head. The whole thing. And the following is pretty much exactly how we run/moderate another site I am on. It's what good looks like.

     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  23. Nine Ball

    Nine Ball Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the detailed response, Dan. Glad to see some moderator changes have been made. Could we ask who the one other moderator is?

    I'd like to propose that trolls like SRTviper be put on moderation. This Mustang kid has been annoying the Gen V owners since he came here. Bad-mouthing Ralph, offering to start up new Viper club sites, etc.. Can I please pay someone to ban him? I'm sure others will chip in, too.

    :)

    Tony
     
  24. SNKEBIT

    SNKEBIT Enthusiast

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    can I reply?
     
  25. Doug Supercharged Vipers

    Doug Supercharged Vipers Enthusiast

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    Hello Bob,

    Hope all is well on your end!

    My comment was only addressing the open letter above and specifically that.

    Hang on to those wheels we'll talk one day about them I'm sure :). Take care and say hi to your lovely wife!

    Regards,
    Doug
     
  26. Bobpantax

    Bobpantax Enthusiast

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    The VCA is an inanimate entity. It does nothing without people doing it. The people "doing it" have changed. The "membership control" issue is being addressed in the Bylaw revision. I suggest you study the announcement language more carefully. Much has been done within the first week of the new Board assuming responsibility. So far, they are doing an excellent job. The delivery of services and benefits to members within an inclusive, fun environment where new/young Members have a clear path to leadership if they want same is what is important. The factional war is old news and, to be honest, a bit stale and boring at this point. I invite all reasonable people to help the new Board move the VCA forward in accordance with the announced Bylaw revisions to occur. The factional approach is inefficient and results in an unnecessary duplication of effort. The VCA ship is sound. It just needed a new command and some new operating rules.
     
  27. SRTviper

    SRTviper Enthusiast

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    Actually the mustang is sold and I'll be placing an order for the viper for your info.

    GTS adrenaline red
    Sepia leguna leather
    Carbon fiber exterior package
    18 speaker harman kardon

    My dealer is finding out about how the track package is now removed and since the brakes are standard on how to get the corsa tires and new sidewinder wheels and then he'll call me to go give him my deposit.

    Still debating on interior carbon fiber package.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  28. Chelseasnake

    Chelseasnake Viper Owner

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    i want to see this torch red. must be a new colour for 14. lol
     
  29. SRTviper

    SRTviper Enthusiast

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    adrenaline red. viper red. Whatever. I can't keep up with all the different ways car companies call the same color.

    I'm actually glad he posted up pics of that forgeline lug center nut conversion. I think I'll get that instead of HREs
     
  30. TrackAire

    TrackAire Viper Owner

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    Again Bob, you fail to even discuss the obvious issues that are not being answered. If you insist on continuing this obvious "amnesia", that is your right, but you are insulting the intelligence of past and present paying members. If the Chrysler letter never surfaced, none of this "change" would even be considered....you are so off the chart on this I really have to wonder what your intentions are at this point.....honestly Bob, I'm not alone in that thinking. The VCA will "survive" but it will not be supported by SRT or Chrysler, what does this tell you? To many people, surviving while being hooked up to life support for the rest of your life is not living and thriving....there is a difference that you do not appear to accept.

    I brought up specific wrong doings on a specific line of the financials that were finally printed in 2010. I tried to help explain some alternatives to save money. Swept under the rug. We've been asking for specific information (financials, VPA information, wages we are paying, etc) for 3 years.......nothing.....just a gracious FU from Lee in the members area. The manipulation of the Bylaws are a travesty. Again, this has been going one for at least 3 years....didn't it matter to you then?

    If you consider the VCA ship sound, I'd hate to see what you consider a few minor "leaks".

    The club has put out an apology. This is a great start. But, if you are apologizing, then you are admitting to wrong doing. There should be consequences for these wrong doings. For example, one of the letters written about Ralph was from Tim Wolleson. Here we have a very serious conflict of interest. We're paying him $5000.00 a month (from what I've researched, at least double the going rate for the size and type of warehouse the VPA is renting from him) and he has no right to forward such a letter to Ralph's bosses because of his position with the VPA and his financial ties with the club. This is a conflict of interest and he should be punished. He has hurt the relationship between the VCA and SRT, possible for more financial and personal gain. The VPA should immediately stop monthly payments, break the lease and move out and find a new warehouse. Now that would show the membership a realistic change that will matter to the clubs future.

    There appear to me many issues with Chris Marshall and his positions in running the VPA and VCA at the same time, conflict of interest, lack of transparency, etc. A normal course of action for wrong doings would be to remove him from the VPA and the club....is this being discussed? Until real actions are discussed, voted on and taken, the VCA will be a sinking ship. You do remember the poll from a couple of weeks ago??....the membership is what matters, not the VCA or VPA's agenda.

    Consequences Bob, as you know the IRS will never accept an "apology" for a mistake or wrong doing. The IRS will accept fines, penalties and jail time, but just an apology, no. For this "ship" to be repaired, the membership needs to see real actions.....not just "shotgun wedding" promises.

    Cheers,
    George
     

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